Saturday, March 24, 2012

To my Telecom family, farewell and I love you all.

 To my Telecom family,  where do I begin, just over 9 months ago when I walked into that tiny little training room on the 2nd floor I had no idea what to expect. It was the beginning of something so foreign to me, a new job in a new country surrounded by new people made up of all different cultures. I don't think I have to tell you that as a country boy from Mississippi, it was a whole new experience for me, but from that fear and anxiety grew great admiration and respect and even better friendships! I honestly can not begin to tell you all how much you mean to me, most of us have made memories that I will never forget as long as I live! We have joked, laughed, and even cried together. You have all literally been my family over this past year, and I can not begin to list all the fun times we have had during working hours, while we should have been dialling and others outside of work. I also can not believe my time here is already come and gone, it feels like only yesterday Lindsey and I were back home packing and ready to set off on this new adventure in our lives, and now we find ourselves in that very same position. We have our eyes wide open and our arms stretched out ready to embrace the next chapter in our life, while we are not sure what the future holds for us, we are absolutely sure who holds our future. As we wait on that chapter to begin we can not help but sit and reflect on the ending of this amazing story in our life. As the time draws near for us to leave New Zealand, and for me to leave you all at Telecom I can't help but feel bitter sweet.

     To all of my TEAM LEADERS I would just like to say a special thank you for not firing me!! Lol! All of the help and support you have all given me over the past months has been amazing. You are truly deserving of every blessing life has to offer. To Luvy and Charan, "Momma and Papa" you two were there for me in the very beginning, way before I became a Telecom ROCC Star!!! I will never forget that last day of training when you two walked in to listen to our scenarios! I knew right then that Luvy was going to be trouble hahahaha....I Just never knew you would be this much trouble!!! Charan, what can I say man, you have been almost like a brother to me at times. I have so much respect for you man it is not even funny; I have no doubts with your determination and drive you will go far in life, but I must say, 1 size bigger in the pants! Lol! I think you will feel better and I know all of us will!!! Hahahahaha! Just messing with you man! All of the TL's have been awesome, and very helpful. I really do just want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart!

   To my Provisioners, wow, I think that best describes some of the situations I have gotten myself into with you guys!, Pooja, you have been with me through training and stuck by me the entire journey here at Telecom. We have laughed more than I believe anyone else has at Telecom, along with Janet. You all are absolutely amazing and I know the sky is the limit for you all.

   To all of the Managers/ Campaign specialist and whom ever else sits over in that area next to the break room lol!!!, I would also like to thank you all as well. I know some/most of you probably do not know me, but I am the loud, slightly chunky, white American that has been hanging around for the past nine months with a big smile on my face. Working hard (sometimes!) and enjoying my self and everyone else (all the time).  You guys were always there for me if I ever had a question, concern, or idea! You all are truly the top, of a winning team.  It has been my honour and privilege to have the opportunity to work for such a wonderful company, amongst even better company! If it is true what they say about great teams starting from the top down, then ROCC will always be in great hands! Thank you all again for everything.

   In life there is nothing worse than something great coming to an end, wondering why people shift in and out of your world. Goodbyes never seem to work, so instead I will share a quote that my father shared with me just before he passed away "Never put a question mark, where God has placed a period". Thank you all again for everything I love you all with every inch of my heart!

Raymond (Ray) Triplett
Keep in touch!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Andare (v. to go; to travel)

Well, lots of great things have happened since I last updated all of you on our journey! Lindsey and I both took a long weekend trip to the Coromandel; we wanted to go check it out so we decided to do so before we leave. The weekend was very relaxing and allowed us to see many more beautiful natural sights that New Zealand’s North Island has to offer! Our favorite had to be Cathedral Cove, followed closely by Hot Water Beach! Both reminders of Gods ever present hand on this beautiful earth!
Cathedral Cove

Hot Water Beach

Cathedral Cove (my tripod works ha!)

Aboard the Endless Summer

I also started and since finished my long awaited sailing classes. The lessons were so much fun, and so informative! My instructor Penny Whiting was amazing; she is a great sailor and is one of the funniest people I have ever met! She actually lives half of the year in the states sailing huge yachts all over! I told her if she needed any help crewing on one just to let me know and I would be there! The weekend the classes started the Volvo Ocean Race came into Auckland! We were the finish line for the Fourth leg of the circumnavigation race! It was an amazing sight to see these huge racing yachts come in from their 20+ days at sea; the Groupama yacht won this leg of the journey. The Viaduct was full of activities all week and it was fun to ride in the racing simulator and watch the 3D movie of their life at sea! Lindsey and I also got to see all the boats start the 5th leg of the race with a 40 minute loop around the harbor then they headed on their way to Brazil.

Volvo Yachts leaving the harbor

Other exciting news, this Saturday will be Lindsey's and my last day at work. That's right it has almost been a year since we moved here, so with time winding down we will be flying to the South Island this Sunday for a full on adventure! We will be joined by Lindsey's sister Megan and her husband Sean, as we all climb into a camper van for a week long road trip! And for those of you who know Lindsey and Megan I will give you a second to pick your jaws up off the floor!! Lindsey has recently seen a term called "glamping" which she says means glamorous camping! I have a feeling she is in for a rude awakening! We will be flying into Christchurch, then driving to Dunedin, then to Queenstown, and back to Christchurch. We will be back in Auckland for a few days before we pack up and start our journey home! We fly from Auckland to Sydney on April 7 and will be there for a week before we return home on April 15.
Dat ders an R.V. ( What we will really be doing)

What Lindsey thinks we will be doing hahaha!

That is just a quick recap of some of the things we have been up to over the past month and a few things that will be coming up! We are both so excited to see the South island and will be sure to update everyone as often as possible, but I am sure we will be without Internet for most of the trip so we will do our best!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cultural Day!

Cultural day at work today, everyone dressed in authentic cultural attire and brought a dish that represented the culture of their land! Well, not sure what cultural dress would be for a boy from Mississippi, I just decided to wear jeans a plaid shirt and boots. I am sure you can see were I was going with this, all I lacked was my cowboy hat. Although I had a hard time trying to decide what to wear to represent my culture I had not problem thinking of something to cook! I introduced my team to peach cobbler, and they all loved it! Just a little taste of the south!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Time Flies By...

It's almost February...where did the time go! We cannot believe that we have already been here close to 10 months. I guess it's true, time does fly by when you are having fun! This experience has been wonderful and we have had an opportunity to learn so much. We have met some amazing people, not only from New Zealand, but from all around the world. We look forward to being able to visit them in their home countries at some point. I think trips to Egypt, France, India, Malaysia, Ireland, and England would be a blast!! 

The past few days in Auckland the weather has been amazing! Is this Summer finally? Ray and I were able to get in a few beach days before he went back to work from a month of holiday time. We have truly been blessed with opportunity here. Both able to find a job, whether in our fields or not, we have had experiences we will never forget. 

I know many of you are wondering what we will do are we!! We passed up the chance to live here permanently in order to still be flexible and travel some more so I guess that's what we will do. We will be heading back to MS in mid April and are very excited about seeing family and friends. We are very overdue for a catchup. We miss home! 

Lots going on before we head home we have some visitors coming to NZ for a visit!! My sister and her husband will be here the end of March and we are so excited! We are flying to Christchurch and renting a Campervan...yes I said Campervan, and traveling around the South Island for 6 days. This should be quite an adventure! Of course we are all in planning mode and trying to determine what excursions we will get into. In Queenstown, referred to as "Adrenaline Capitol of the World", we hope to find ourselves doing things like white water rafting, jet boating, skydiving, canyon swinging, etc! Heaps to do so I know we will have a hard time deciding! 

When we return from our trip we will be packing and moving from New Zealand. This will be a very bittersweet time for us. We will be stopping for a visit in Australia for a few days which we are very excited about! We have never been out of the airport in Aussie so we are really looking forward to it. We will spend the first few days in Sydney as tourists. We then travel North to stay with our friends, Debbie and Steve. We will be there for Steve's birthday so it is going to be a fun celebration! We haven't seen them since Hawaii in June so we will enjoy catching up. 

Just wanted to bring you all up to speed! We have lots to see and do before we move! We of course are not going to be able to see it all...had to leave somethings for our return visits! 

I guess it's time for me to leave our balcony where I have been soaking up the sun for the past few hours and go cook dinner! 


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Our Life....Month to Date

Well once again it has been too long since our last post, and lots has happened.

We have been busy working, trying to save money, but also found some time to take another short trip to celebrate our 1 year anniversary. We decided to head North this go around and booked a few nights in this amazing B&B in Kerikeri called the Bed of Roses, I know romantic right!!!! So we rented a tiny hatch back and hit the road towards the Bay of Islands. We drove through some beautiful scenic drives and saw so many breath taking views (pictures posted on FaceBook). The second day we woke up and had the best breakfast at the B&B and headed to Paihia, here we caught the car ferry across the bay to the little town of Russell (the first capital of New Zealand). We wondered around the town center had some great Fish and Chips, went to the top of Flagstaff Hill and looked over the entire city and bay. We decided to drive back, which was considerably longer than the ferry. I should have known when the GPS asked if unsurfaced roads were ok, that we should have reconsidered. The drive was long and very very very curvy!! I thought I was going to get sick, not to mention the curves were on a "dirt road" hugging the side of a mountain. I am not sure if it was from the worrisome drive or just too much fun for one day but when we made it back to The Bed of Roses we both needed a nap! After waking up refreshed from our naps, we went for our anniversary dinner at the Pear Tree. It was great food and drinks and was the perfect way to celebrate our first year married! On day three we planned a long drive to Cape Reinga, which is the most northern point in New Zealand. This drive was long but absolutely the best. The views were indescribable, as you get closer to the Cape out of no where you see these huge mountains of sand to the west, as far as you can see. The large sand dunes disappear into the Tasman Sea, and at the Cape you can see this distinct line in the ocean where the Tasman meets the Pacific. This experience was almost spiritual it is surely a moment I will never forget. The next day we started our journey home, that's right back to the real world!

Now fast forward a couple of weeks. As we began the anticipation of Thanksgiving Holidays, we received word from home that my Grandmother had suffered from a heart attack. Of course this put Lindsey and I both in a state of suspense, not knowing what the coming days and weeks would bring we prayed and hoped for the best. Unfortunately what we thought was best was not what happened, and on our Monday November 21st my sweet Mama Mazie was called home. Always having been the person to get our family together for Thanksgiving, this year was no different. With exception of Lindsey and myself everyone came home to celebrate her life and all the love and joy she brought with it! She was like no other and will forever be missed by so many.

Even with the sad news of Mama Mazie's passing, Lindsey never stopped planning our first Solo Thanksgiving. I knew she wanted it to be special but given the week we had just been through made her want to make it the best. She spent the entire day Wednesday cooking away in our TINY kitchen, with 2 electric eyes for a stove and a miniature microwave size oven. She cooked dressing, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, cream corn, and picked up some sliced turkey from the deli (whole turkeys are WAY to expensive here). She also cooked 2 deserts: a pumpkin spice bar/cake, and some Mississippi mud brownies. The food was amazing and not sure if it was the circumstances that made it one of the most meaningful Holidays I have ever had or if it was just because it was our first one alone, but regardless it was one of the best and most humbling Thanksgivings I have ever had! That pretty much brings us up to date, and now I am just lying here trying to let my food settle before I go get some dessert!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving From Down Under!! Love You All!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halfway Gone!....Halfway Home?

Well, we made it!  Just over six months ago we packed all our clothes and headed out on what we were sure would be one of our biggest adventures.  So here we are halfway through our initial commitment to this journey; which, just so everyone knows, our parents thought we would be home by now.  It seems like only yesterday that we left everyone behind and now just six months out I can say we have truly learned so much.  We quickly realized that, much to our dismay, the parents were in fact correct when they told us money does not grow on trees!  We now fully understand why you turn the light off when you leave the room and also no need to turn a faucet on and walk away while it is running; yes, we are growing up.  We live in a one room apartment that cost as much as a luxury monthly car payment, yet it is a weekly expense.  We both have been able to maintain jobs, mine a temp position that is still going strong; Lindsey’s a more permanent part time roll.  We have for the most part, made a little life for ourselves and are enjoying it to the fullest.  We have been on several adventures, with more in the works.  We have been through our first ever Rugby World Cup, and even managed to squeeze in a couple of games.
 The seasons are finally starting to change here for the better.  We are trading in the cold damp days of winter for the dry and warm days of summer.  Everything is so green and beautiful, the weather is warm but not hot and no humidity, comparable to Mississippi.  Even better than the weather, I am even more thankful for the leaves on the trees.  I say this because our neighbor across the street is rather large and refuses to wear pants or close his blinds, and now thanks to Mother Nature we now have natural window coverings.
All in all, it truly is shaping up to be the best decision we could have ever made; having said that we do miss our family and friends more than we can say.  We are slowly coming to terms with not being home for Thanksgiving or Christmas; a first for both Lindsey and I. The only thing I think that will help make it easier is the fact that it will be the middle of summer here, so maybe we will not even know we missed it!
It is also hard to believe it will soon be one year since I married my best friend!  Time truly does fly when you are having fun and we are having a ball!!  We are truly blessed to have found each other and equally as blessed to have such amazing families.  Not everyone’s family would have been so supportive of a move around the world, but thankfully we both come from families that are not afraid to let us make our own mistakes!
So after six months we are still alive and well, and still dreaming big.  We greet each new day with a passion for what it could become.  Along with our dreams we continually look to the future and how we see our life going. Where do we want to live?  What do we want to do?  How can we make sure that we always keep this passion we have for life?  So with that said, we have a few options to decide on.  One of my dreams has all ways been to learn how to sail, and maybe even one day own my own sail boat and  sail around the world, well not literally, just from place to place. This dream may be closer than we realized; I will soon be enrolled in sailing classes here in The City of Sails, Auckland, New Zealand!  So with a passion and plenty of ignorance this is sure to be a fun journey.  Another option we are playing with is not coming home in April…… Pause for reflection.  Rather than coming home we may hop across the ditch and spend 12 months or so in Australia!  Oh by the way, we have not told our parents about this option so…. SURPRISE!!!!!
These are all options and decisions we will be making over the next few months, but all the while enjoying and living in the moment.  My parents always told me, don’t worry about it, you have the rest of your life to work!  Unfortunately for them, I actually listened to this bit of advice. While most of you probably think we are crazy and do not know what the hell we are doing; I have to say it is one of the best times of our lives. 


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Our "New" Dog

Well, as all of you know...I love animals!! This is probably the hardest thing for me here. Our visa requirements will not allow you to travel with pets. Somehow I got away with bringing Ray!! Not only will our visa not allow pets, neither will our apartment! Darn!

So Ray decided that he would surprise me the other night with our new dog, "Shadow!" He has always wanted a Great Dane and now we have one. He is the perfect dog!!

I know we are crazy and apparentlly easily amused!

Enjoy! L